Of Inquirers and Returning Catholics in the RCIA Process

Being a cradle Lutheran, I already had a fairly good grasp about the Catholic Church — at least I thought I did. About two and half years ago I started listening to Catholic radio, AM 820. What I heard and found was a deeper understanding of all aspects of the Christian faith. For me it was like being struck with a hammer when I heard Father John Riccardo, Dr. Scott Hahn and most notably Jimmy Akin. Their knowledge, faith and understanding of the Catholic Church and Catholicism was amazing and there was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was at work with these men. They and others reignited a flame within me and I wanted to know more. What really sparked my interest were the early Church Fathers, I had never heard of the Church Fathers before and I am in my mid-50’s. After reading several books concerning the Church Fathers I realized that these men that laid the foundation of the Catholic faith had in fact got it right. The Holy Spirit was moving me and I made the decision to begin the RCIA process. The RCIA process allowed me to get a bird’s eye view into the Catholic faith all while deepening my spiritual growth, which resulted in ultimately and truly knowing that the Catholic Church got it right. Praise be to the Church Fathers and Martyrs, some of whom laid down their lives so that we would know the truth. Over the past year my faith has grown, like at no other time in my life. I am still growing in my faith, still learning the mysteries of the Church and all the while deepening my relationship with the Triune God.

Bret Shafer

Entered Full Commuinion in 2018

I never really considered becoming a Catholic. In fact, my family was dead against it! But there was always something missing in my life. One day I was attended a Catholic funeral and because I was so amazed by it, I knew I had to learn more about the Catholic Church. I joined the RCIA program and the first meeting when I heard about the commitment, I thought “What give up my Monday evenings for the next 9 months?” But this has by far been the best thing I’ve ever done. I went in with an open mind and open heart. The Symbolon Series and Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible Series were extremely eye opening!  After while I was began looking forward to going to the classes, because I was so thirsty for more!  My RCIA group and I actually become like family. Entering the Church through Baptism has been the best decision I ever made in my life. All the support that was there for me in the RCIA process was sensational. The role of my sponsor who walked with me during the process was an important ingredient to the process. RCIA helped to structure my Christian life of prayer, and the teachers were wonderful about answering any of my questions. Attending Mass is very important to the process to learn how to worship God and to grow more into the Catholic faith. Although I am still an infant in the Church, the RCIA helped me in my journey to find God and build a relationship with Him by giving me the tools I needed to do this, and work on it every day!

Everyone’s always worried about their physical health; why not aide your spiritual health?

Valerie Tripp

Baptized and Fully Intitiated in 2017

From a very young age I was attracted to the Catholic Christian faith. Though, I was born into a Protestant family and the only one in the family that had not been baptized, I do believe I have been searching for a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and understanding of my life’s purpose for quite a long time. I just knew there had to be a life without the constant feeling of an absence being present. A close friend and member of Saint Mary of the Assumption parish mentioned the RCIA program. I was nervous but excited to learn what it meant to me to be baptized and to participate in the Christian way of life. Once present at RCIA sessions the nervousness went away and I was able to meet new friends and learn that I am not alone in this search for deeper meaning to life. I found much comfort in getting to know the clergy and staff. In going through this process, I have learned so much to help me grow in my spiritual life. I gained much relief in being baptized and becoming anew, with guidance how to maintain this relationship and be a part of the body of Christ. I am ever so grateful! Thanks be to God!

Amanda Walls

Baptized and Fully Initiated in 2016

Although I have had the Catholic Church on my radar for many years, I didn’t think I would ever become Catholic. There were too many doctrinal obstacles. My church of thirty years closed it’s doors about two years ago. I was without a church home during this period. I was miserable and began to pray “Jesus, please give me a simple faith.” A few months later I found myself enrolled in RCIA. There are many ways to explain how this happened. I believe it was an answer to prayer.

My experience in RCIA has been a great adventure into faith. As I learned about the Church and it’s teachings the obstacles began to dissolve. Once I began to see the bigger picture and how things fit into it I was amazed at the beauty of the Church.

I experienced the rebirth of my prayer life. Something I had been missing greatly. When I first attended Mass I found it to be beautiful but very confusing. As I continued in RCIA the Mass opened up to me in ways I never could have imagined. RCIA has led me to appreciate how full, beautiful and simple the Catholic faith is.

Mark Ebert

Entered Full Communion in 2015

My experience in the RCIA program has been a positive and blessed one. I have a unique situation in which I work night shift so I was unable to make the Monday evening sessions. With the help of my sponsor, Brian McCauley, and Deacon Nic Ventura, I was able to go through the RCIA process on a different schedule. I have been wanting to come into the church for a long time, but it hadn’t been possible with my schedule at our Catholic parishes. Brian and Deacon Nic made it possible for me at St. Mary which makes me very grateful.

Wes Detwiller

Entered Full Communion in 2015

Being a protestant Christian all my life who attended church regularly, I held the stereotypical beliefs about Catholicism.  As I grew older I found myself desiring a deeper relationship with God that I couldn’t quite grasp through several denominations.  I found myself listening to Catholic radio and being attracted to the teachings.  After several months, a friend invited me to an RCIA class at St. Mary.  I felt at home almost right away.  I was presented with an environment in which I could ask questions and challenge leaders interactively as opposed to listening to a radio program.  The leader, Brian McCauley, and other teachers, priests, and deacons were welcoming and encouraging while softly challenging me in my walk with Christ.  Other seekers quickly became like family; sharing our questions, life experiences, doubts, and excitement about seeking God through the Catholic Church.  The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable and over time slowly evolved into a humbling and personal worship experience.  I decided to join the Catholic Church after learning and discerning in the RCIA for two years.  One of the most valuable blessings of this experience was meeting and becoming friends with the amazing people of the church who attended the classes as mentors.  My mentor, Chris, encouraged me to ask questions and dig deeper in the faith; always being sensitive to my doubts, fears, and feelings.  He made himself available at any time for anything I needed.  He is an amazing man.

As the RCIA season comes to an end, I am saddened by the idea that I won’t get to be with my “family” for a couple of hours every Monday night.  However, I’m overwhelmed with joy and humility that I can join this family at any Mass service to worship our God, and take part in the Eucharist together.  I am at home!  I encourage all people seeking Christ (or more of Him) to put aside any reservations they may have and find out how quickly they become family in the RCIA program at St. Mary church.

Aaron Reedy

Entered Full Communion in 2015